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News from the Earth Sciences


The Earth has rusted heart.

"No one knows precisely what the composition of the center of the Earth is. This is one of the best kept secrets of our planet as mankind has never reached deeper than 12 km below its surface." writes  Tristan Vey in Le Figaro. In fact only laboratory experiments, seismological analysis and thermodynamic models can help us get a better understanding of this mysterious inner core. These show the existence of a liquid metallic outer core with a diameter of about 5000 km that contains a “small” and spinning solid inner core about 2400 km wide. While this solid part is almost exclusively composed of iron-nickel alloy (with a 16/1 ratio), seismological surveys have shown that the surrounding environment of liquified metal contains significant quantities of lighter elements such as sulphur, carbon, silicon as well as oxygen. But in what proportion?  More...

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Dr. Wendy Kirk 


Mars In The Classroom

Mars in the Classroom provides an exciting program of hands-on and thought-provoking science activities for children aged 13 to 16. 

"Mars is there, waiting to be reached."

Mars, the`red planet', shines with almost a blood red colour in the night sky

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Mars In The Classroom

  • The project is themed around the students planning their own manned mission to Mars, and comprises a series of modules to be carried out in small groups.
  • The experiments within each module of Mars in the Classroom can be used either as stand-alone projects or in combination with any or all of the other modules provided. In this way, the educator has complete control over the duration and level of the program undertaken.
  • The aim of the project is to provide a stimulating program that can compliment the National Curriculum, introducing students (and educators!) to the excitement of planetary science.